Why MFJ will be joining the ‘No to Tommy Robinson, No to Brexit’ bloc on 9 December

The following statement was put out on the fifteenth Surround YarlsWood demonstration on 1 December 2018 (pictured above):

Defend & Extend Free Movement of People – Stop Brexit!

  • Shut down Yarl’s Wood – Shut down all detention centres
  • Stop scapegoating of immigrants – End the racist Hostile Environment
  • Amnesty Now for ALL those who don’t have secure immigration status
  • Open the Borders of Britain & Europe!   

Sunday 9 December, ‘No to Tommy Robinson, No to Fortress Britain’ Demonstration, 11am, Portland place

Stop the rise of Fascism & the Far-Right – Join MFJ on the ‘No to Tommy Robinson, No to Brexit’ Bloc

Build independent, integrated, youth & immigrant led mass movement against racism, fascism & poverty

Bring Down this Racist, anti-Working Class Brexit Government!

Across Europe and in the USA, immigrant workers, immigrant communities and refugees are on the frontline fighting for justice and equality, against racism, fascism and poverty. They are far more than scapegoats who get blamed for low pay, failing public services, insecure jobs etc; they are feared by the rulers as the most determined and conscious fighters.

In Britain the resistance by immigrants and asylum seekers inside detention centres is the driving force that has won a whole series of victories; detainees & ex-detainees in Movement for Justice (MFJ) are playing the leading role in this struggle. That’s why Yarl’s Wood, which has once more been a site of struggle against mass deportation in the past week, now stands half empty.

In the USA, the real leaders of resistance to Trump and his fascist allies are immigrants, Latina/o & black communities and youth, and the refugee caravan at the border with Mexico. MFJ’s American sister organisation, BAMN, has been in the frontline of these struggles for immigrant rights and shutting down the fascists. In Italy, the independent SI Cobas union, 80% immigrant workers, is the most militant section of the workers’ movement and the focus of militant political opposition, especially by youth, to the new racist Far Right government. They are demonstrating today against the reopening of a detention centre in Milan.

These powerful struggles are the basis from which we can build – internationally – an integrated mass movement to defeat the biggest growth of fascism & far-right racism since the 1930s.

We must defend and extend the free movement of people and stop Brexit

The rich and powerful regard free movement as their exclusive privilege – free movement for themselves, their money & investments, and the goods & service they buy and sell in a globalised economy with super- fast communications. They deny the same rights and benefits to the poor and oppressed, the people they exploit, impoverish and dispossess. That is divide and rule on an international scale: a global labour market for bosses looking for cheap labour, but not for people looking for work and safety. Mass migration is a rebellion against that injustice.

In an increasingly unequal world the free movement of people is the most basic human right – fundamental to workers’ rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, the right of asylum and to life itself. The ruling classes deny us those rights, with their borders, detention centres, immigration laws, and by condemning thousands to death and starvation.

Movement for Justice demands Open the Borders of Britain & Europe, because it is what hundreds of thousands of people are doing, by any means necessary, in order to solve crushing material problems in their lives. The alternative to Open Borders is a world of barbarism and tyranny.

And the forces of barbarism and tyranny are growing here, across Europe, in America, and elsewhere   in the world: the Trump movement, the new government in Italy, the Orban government in Hungary, and their model, Putin’s de facto dictatorship in Russia. Brexit is its British form. Brexit is the biggest victory for racism and biggest attack on immigrants in Britain in the lifetime of anyone living today.

The far right racists are facing our resistance everywhere and they can be defeated. That will take a movement that’s independent of the powers-that-be – a movement with consciousness, a strategy and leadership.

Exposing the lies about Brexit

The Government and the Labour leadership say we must accept Brexit because it is democratic. That’s a lie: it’s not ‘democratic’ for a majority to take away the rights of a minority. The referendum was an exercise in lies and demagogy, not democracy. Millions of people who are part of this society were denied a vote by racist nationality and immigration laws.

Some people on the Left, including leading people in the Labour Party, say we should accept Brexit because a big part of the Leave vote expressed the anger of white people in impoverished communities who had every right to feel betrayed. That is true, but does not make it any less racist. One section of the working class was venting its anger in an attack on another section, based on race and national origin.

The same people say we should put Brexit behind us and unite on the ‘real’ practical issues that affect our lives, like housing, jobs and the NHS. They can’t or won’t see that free movement and fighting racism are real practical issues for millions of people. They can’t or won’t see that racism and immigration have a profound impact on housing, jobs and the NHS.

The fundamental belief of all such people is that you can’t shift the racism of poor and working class white people – and that is the biggest lie of all. But the basis for that belief is that racism is simply too big an issue, that it is too ingrained in the economic and political system, that overcoming it would shake things up too much. And that is true! It is too big a fight for their politics and their methods.

Racism can’t be overcome by reliance on the present system – Parliament, the courts, elections – any more than it will be overcome by moral sermons. It can only be overcome in and through the independent power of a mass movement, and it’s only on that basis that intervening in Parliament, the courts, elections etc will yield any positive results. We must not be afraid of the power of the poor and oppressed.

Building the movement – Defending free movement of people – Stopping Brexit

MFJ fights to stop Brexit in order to maintain the free movement of people and defeat anti-immigrant racism. That is central, all other considerations are secondary. Staying in the European Union while ending free movement would be a defeat; keeping free movement while being outside the EU would be a victory. The institutional and legal arrangements through which free movement is maintained are merely a matter of the mechanism that achieves our goal.

The method through which a movement can achieve these goals is the method that MFJ applies to every fight, big or small, that we are involved in: independent collective action to shift the balance of power in favour of the oppressed and exploited, and always speaking the plain truth about racism, as we have done about Brexit ever since the referendum campaign. It’s what we are doing at Yarl’s Wood today, organising inside and outside, together, to shift the balance of power against the Home Office and Serco. It takes resistance and exposure to make detention unsustainable; neither happen without organisation.

It is the same method we employed last year to drive a fascist recruiting march out of Croydon – campaigning and organising in the community, especially the black & Asian community, and among the youth, to take over the streets.

This is the method that can maintain and extend the free movement of people and stop Brexit and reverse the growth of fascism. Our aim must be to bring down this racist, anti-working class, brutal – but weak & divided – government. On 11th December Parliament votes on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, which will almost certainly be defeated; the Brexit crisis enters a new and more dangerous phase, and the fascists are preparing to take advantage of it to build their movement. The notorious racist thug and former EDL leader known as ‘Tommy Robinson’ has summoned his supporters to a ‘Great Brexit Betrayal’ march in London on Sunday 9th December.

Some members of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and the left-wing anti-Brexit group ‘Another Europe Is Possible’ (AEIP) are with us at Yarl’s Wood today. MFJ welcomes the positive decision of AEIP to organise a No to Tommy Robinson! No to Brexit! bloc as part of the mobilisation against the fascists on 9th December. It is endorsed among others by David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, Manuel Cortez, leader of the TSSA union, Caroline Lucas MP of the Green Party and Peter Tatchell. They are rightly demanding ‘vote down the Brexit deal’ and ‘defend free movement,’ and point out that,

“… It is not enough to simply oppose racism in the abstract. Brexit is being used to attack migrants, end free movement, deregulate the economy, divide communities and legitimise racism in the political mainstream. It is driven at its core by the British wing of a movement that includes Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, among others…. Brexit has from its earliest days been driven by the far right, and the far right will benefit from it for decades to come unless we defeat it and the conditions on which it feeds.”

MFJ will be part of this bloc and we call on everyone here today to join us there. We will do everything we can to build the bloc.

Immigrants, black & Asian communities and youth must take the lead

This leaflet started, in its first four paragraphs, by explaining that these are the forces on the frontline of the fight for equality and justice internationally, and that are leading the fight against detention and the Hostile Environment policy in Britain.

With regard to Brexit, by far the biggest percentage of votes against this racist project came from black, Asian and Muslim voters, and from young voters – the most integrated generation, with their futures at stake. These are overwhelmingly working class communities and groups, and include some of the poorest sections of the working class. And they are a core part of Labour’s ‘traditional supporters.’ They knew from the start that Brexit is racist, and they have directly experienced its toxic impact. Recent polls indicate a further increase in opposition to Brexit among these groups.

The decision of the Labour leadership to endorse Brexit, to deny that it is racist, and to abandon free movement is a shameful insult to these communities and to the young generation. But, the most prominent anti-Brexit organisations have also been, at best, reluctant to fight on the issues of racism and free movement because they don’t want to undermine the Labour Party. As a result they isolated and undermined the very forces that most strongly rejected Brexit – while the Labour leadership continues to undermine itself anyway with its Brexit policy.

The ‘No Brexit’ bloc on the 9th December can be the start of changing that situation. Our organisers must focus on London’s multiracial schools & colleges, and the predominantly black, Asian and working class universities. We must call on David Lammy and other anti-Brexit MPs, especially black and Asian MPs and councillors, to call on their communities – on Tottenham, Lewisham, Hackney for example – to come out with us. We must call on Manuel Cortez and other anti-Brexit union activists to bring out the immigrant workers who are the most exploited and some of the most militant workers in London.

Time is short before 9th December, but we have a long fight after that because this is profound and long- running crisis in our history. We must step up our action now.

MFJ is building a movement of immigrant, black, Asian and young leaders because that is central to defeating the Far Right and overcoming the huge roadblock of racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim discrimination and prejudice that is the chief barrier to progress in British society and internationally. That is the most important task before us, Only such a leadership can awaken and inspire a new movement of united mass struggle against exploitation and poverty.

We call on EVERYONE here today to join this fight.

Immigration Amnesty for ALL – Petition Launched!

Britain’s immigration system has been exposed as inhuman, deeply cynical and thoroughly racist. What all those who’ve had to fight through the system have known for decades is now exposed for the whole country to see. The Home Office is driven by racist removal targets and an anti-immigrant agenda. Every applicant is treated as a liar, no amount of evidence is good enough, decisions are arbitrary cut/paste jobs, outrageous profit is made out of peoples misery through fees, people are left unable to work for years while bad decisions are made, people are locked up like criminals and those seeking sanctuary are subject to further torture here in the UK.

For years, immigrants, asylum seekers, detainees, international students have been resisting the brutal and unjust immigration system by any means necessary. From fighting their way off planes, exposing the brutality in immigration detention, organising together to resist raids, deportations & charter flights or fighting through the courts, time and time again the government has been exposed and defeated.

Now the entire country has been shaken by the exposure of cruel injustice towards people of the ‘Windrush generation’, who arrived from the Caribbean in the ‘50s & ‘60s, fought the racist anti-immigrant hostility of the time, only to be told in retirement ‘you don’t belong here’.  The Home Office saw these mainly Caribbean elders as ‘low hanging fruit’ in their racist drive to reduce net migration targets and picked them off for deportation accordingly. This was a massive overreach on the part of the Home Office. It’s exposure means that Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ anti-immigrant policy is now vulnerable; they’ve already started rolling back on key aspects of the policy; we can win more, we can tear it down. Continue reading “Immigration Amnesty for ALL – Petition Launched!”

Yarl’s Wood detainees resist Nigeria/Ghana mass deportation charter flight – unlawful deportation prevented

Free AG NOW. Amnesty for ALL immigrants – and shut down ALL detention centres. Stop mass deportation charter flights. Build the independent, integrated movement.

In Yarl’s Wood detention centre new battles in the fight for women’s rights and immigrant rights have been opening up, with women taking all means necessary, encouraged and more confident having seen the government’s hostile environment immigration policy exposed and vulnerable, and having been part of the struggles that made it vulnerable through months of collective action inside Yarl’s Wood.

In Yarl’s Wood on Wednesday 30 May 2018, women gathered in Dove unit to defend Nigerian and Ghanaian women whom they knew to be the latest targets for a mass deportation charter flight. This action to stop deportations took place in the context of the Government’s wider, self-inflicted crisis over its anti-immigrant policies. It takes the fight to end detention and the whole hostile environment to a higher level and asserts the importance of immigrant leadership in this fight.

Continue reading “Yarl’s Wood detainees resist Nigeria/Ghana mass deportation charter flight – unlawful deportation prevented”

Government in Crisis over Racism – Bring It Down!

Windrush exposes truth of racism at heart of immigration law. Build the movement to reverse racist immigration laws. AMNESTY for ALL immigrants without papers.

Amnesty Now!

The Windrush generation who moved to Britain in the 1950’s and 60’s are regarded by almost everyone as an intrinsic part of British society. Their generation re-built Britain after the war, the health service, the railroads, drove the buses. Making their lives in Britain meant pushing back against the racist attacks and ‘Keep Britain White’ campaigns of the time. To be told after all these years, by the government’s Home Office, that they ‘don’t belong here’ was an overreach that has exposed the racism at the heart of immigration policy to millions of people. As a result Theresa May’s already struggling government has been left vulnerable on three fronts. Firstly the whole policy of attacking immigrants is vulnerable, in particular Theresa May’s defining policy of ‘hostile environment’. Secondly, Brexit is vulnerable. And thirdly, the crisis-ridden government is vulnerable, and it can be brought down. To stop the attacks on immigrants it is necessary to unite all of those under attack from this government.

Continue reading “Government in Crisis over Racism – Bring It Down!”

Roma 24.02.18: Manifestazione Nazionale contro Sfruttamento, Razzismo e Repressione

Organizzata da: Si Cobas Lavoratori Autorganizzati

On this day as MFJ we joined the demo in Rome and gave out this leaflet

Download English Translation: English Flyer Si Cobas national demo 24.02.2018


Organizzare la difesa proletaria e comunitaria contro i fascisti, con a capo lavoratrici/ori immigrati, rifugiati e giovani – Stop Forza Nuova! Stop CasaPound!

Difendere ed estendere la liberta’ di movimento di tutte le persone fuori e dentro l’Europa – Aprire le frontiere d’Italia e d’Europa! Basta con la colpevolizzazione razzista degli immigrati!

Pieni diritti di cittadinanza a tutti coloro che vivono, lavorano e studiano in Italia!

Chiudere tutti i centri di detenzione per immigrati!Abolire la legge Minniti-Orlando! Abolire gli accordi con la Libia segnati nel sangue degli immigrati! Truppe italiane fuori dal Niger!

Costruire un movimento di massa, integrato per i diritti degli immigrati, i diritti dei lavoratori e i diritti civili – Per una lotta unita contro razzismo e poverta’!


Le/gli immigrati che hanno duramente combattuto e hanno rischiato tanto per costruire nuove vite in Europa, e giovani immigrati di seconda generazione che stanno lottando per la giustizia e la cittadinanza, costituiscono la forza piu’ militante e progressiva nella classe lavoratrice in Italia e tra i giovani d’ Italia – la vanguardia che puo’ ispirare e guidare un movimento integrato di massa di tutti i poveri e gli oppressi  contro politiche di austerity, disuguaglianza e repressione. Questa e’ la piu’ grande paura della classe dirigente italiana e di tutti i suoi partiti di fronte alla piu’ profonda crisi in Italia dalla seconda guerra mondiale. Il movimento di cui loro hanno paura e’ il movimento che possiamo e dobbiamo costruire.

Le classi dirigenti d’Europa non hanno una via d’uscita dalla crisi prodotta dalle fallimentari politiche economiche neo-liberali che hanno imposto nei propri paesi e, con effetti disastrosi, in tutto il mondo. La loro unica risposta e’ imporre una sempre maggiore austerita’ sulla classe lavoratrice, poveri e la classe media in difficolta’ di tutte le razze. In Italia, il governo uscente ha ridotto all’osso i diritti dei lavoratori, il numero delle/dei precari ha raggiunto un livello record di circa 3 milioni mentre il futuro delle giovani generazioni viene distrutto. Da Nord a Sud, le lotte piu’ militanti e determinate contro lavoro precario e condizioni di vita e lavoro inumane, e contro leggi razziste e repressive, sono portate avanti da lavoratrici/ori immigrati e rifugiati- da Rosarno, Nardo’, Saluzzo e tutte/i i braccianti nelle campagne a Piacenza, Bologna, Torino e le altre citta’ e centri del settore della logistica.

Per forzare le loro politiche brutali, i principali partiti in Italia si uniscono per attaccare immigrati e giovani di cui temono la forza; militarizzano le frontiere, incrementano lo stato di repressione, e fomentano divisioni razziste usando l’immigrazione come capro espiatorio per la poverta’ e l’insicurezza che il sistema capitalista ha creato.

I fascisti di Forza Nuova e Casa Pound sono ora usati dagli elementi piu’ reazionari della classe dirigente d’Italia x colpire le comunita’ di immigrati e i lavoratori immigrati. La recente tentata strage di immigrati Africani per mano di neofascista Luca Traini a Macerata, e la celebrazione sfrontata di Traini come un “eroe” da parte di fascisti, si va ad aggiungere ai numerosi violenti attacchi fascisti e razzisti in tutta Italia. Sono un segnale per le organizzazioni di lavoratrici/ori immigrati e per immigrati e giovani anti-fasciste/i che ORA e’ il tempo di costruire azioni collettive per la difesa delle nostre comunita’, luoghi di lavoro, picchetti, i centri per immigrati, luoghi di incontro, scuole etc., e di bloccare i tentativi dei fascisti di organizzarsi e recrutare. Sciogliere le organizzazioni fasciste  e’ una questione di difesa delle nostre vite, della nostra liberta’, della nostra sicurezza.

Nessun affidamento sul fallito sistema politico razzista

Non abbiamo nessuna illusione che i politici, le forze dell’ordine, il sistema giudiziario o la costituzione ci difenderanno. Tutti i maggiori partiti e le alleanze elettorali sono responsabili del ricorso a politiche sempre piu’ razziste e nazionaliste. Al governo, il PD ha completamente tradito le sue promesse di approvare lo Ius Soli per le seconde generazioni e accellerare la cittadinanza per i bambini degli immigrati; ha pianificato nuovi centri di detenzione, e la legge Minniti-Orlando ha abolito il diritto di appello in caso di diniego dei richiedenti asilo e il diritto alla loro presenza in corte; ha pagato il governo Libico per fargli accettare deportazioni di massa e detenzione di immigrati, portando a nuovi mercati di schiavi nel 21esimo secolo; e ha mandato truppe italiane nel Niger per stabilire una frontiera contro immigranti sul confine meridionale del Sahara. E lo stesso PD con il “Jobs Act” ha dato completamente fuoco ai diritti e alle protezioni delle/i lavoratrici/ori, per questo e’ stato acclamato dal Fondo Monetario internazionale e dall’Unione Europea.

L’ ignobile spostamento a destra del PD ha incoraggiato la coalizione di estrema- destra della Lega Nord, Fratelli d’Italia e Forza Italia ad abbandonarsi ad una retorica sempre piu’ razzista. Berlusconi, il Trump italiano caduto in disgrazia, sta allestendo una resurrezione politica con una promessa di deportare 600.000 immigrati – una misura che potrebbe essere implementata attraverso la militarizzazione in massa della societa’ italiana. Il M5s dei cosiddetti anti-casta, ha promosso una retorica razzista anti-immigrati sin dal suo esordio; nell’amministrazione di Roma la sindaca 5Stelle ha ordinato lo sgombero violento e razzista di Piazza Indipendenza contro famiglie di rifugiati e richiedenti asilo Eritrei ed Etiopi con poliziotti che seguivano l’ordine di “Spaccate le braccia se c’e’ resistenza, devono sparire”.

Tutti questi partiti mostrano una tenera apprensione per i “diritti” di Forza Nuova e Casa Pound e si oppongono a chi resiste la crescita del fascismo. Ministri del PD hanno espresso solidarieta’ con candidati fascisti alle elezioni contro manifestanti anti-fascisti.

L’elezione del mese prossimo non sistemera’ niente. Puo’ solo annunciare un periodo di piu’ grande instabilita’ per un sistema politicamente e moralmente in bancarotta. Possiamo solo essere certi che i fascisti cercheranno di sfruttare tutto questo: il nostro compito sara’ di usare le debolezze del sistema politico per vincere vittorie per poveri e oppressi e per sconfiggere i fascisti.

Un nuovo movimento sta crescendo

Migliaia di immigrati e antifascisti hanno marciato a Macerata il 10 Febbraio- una settimana dopo l’attacco razzista di Traini – in aperta sfida all’opposizione dalla leadership del PD, dell’ARCI, dell’ANPI e delle grandi federazioni sindacali. Pochi giorni prima della marcia, la rabbia crescente ha forzato il governo ad abbandonare il vergognoso tentativo di divieto. Lavoratrici/ori immigrati e giovani antifascisti stanno manifestando contro i fascisti in tutta Italia. C’e’ una crescente consapevolezza in Italia che la lotta per i diritti delle/degli immigrati e la lotta contro il fascismo sono la stessa lotta. Questo e’ il movimento rappresentato qui oggi a Roma.

Questo movimento puo’ vincere perche’ e’ molto piu’ grande e rappresenta una ben piu’ grande forza sociale delle bande di carogne fasciste con la loro delirante ideologia.  I fascisti possono solo sperare di crescere e vincere se avremo paura di mobilizzare il nostro potere. Non possiamo permetterci di essere frenati da chi ci sta tradendo mentre pretende di darci “consigli amichevoli”- quelli che ci hanno detto di non marciare a Macerata, chi dice di rispettare la “liberta’ d’espressione” per i fascisti, chi dice che dobbiamo limitare le nostre richieste, quelli che hanno detto che il “Jobs Act” creerebbe piu’ posti di lavoro per noi. La verita’ e’ che hanno paura della nostra forza molto piu’ di quanto hanno paura dei fascisti

  • Noi lottiamo per pieni, uguali diritti di cittadinanza per chiunque vive, lavora e studia in Italia. Lottiamo per quel diritto per le persone che siamo- qualunque sia la nostra origine nazionale, etnicita’, cultura, religione, sessualita’, gender etc. Siamo tutti Italia oggi!
  • Organizziamo azioni per fermare deportazioni, chiudere i centri di detenzione di immigrati e rifugiati, e rendere le leggi razziste sull’ immigrazione impraticabili.

Lottiamo per aprire le frontiere d’Italia e d’Europa, perche’ questo e’ quello che migliaia di noi stanno facendo per risolvere problemi materiali reali nelle nostre vite. E’ quello che migliaia di cittadini in Italia sta facendo quando sfidiamo la legge per fare salvataggi in mare, proteggere e aiutare

  • immigrati e rifugiati. L’unica alternativa all’ Aprire le Frontiere e’ un mondo di maggiore barbarismo e tirannia.
  • Lottiamo CON OGNI MEZZO NECESSARIO perche’ non possiamo permettere ai poteri costituiti di determinare come possiamo lottare contro la loro oppressione, sfruttamento e razzismo.

Nel costruire questo movimento stiamo lottando per qualunque cosa progressiva in Italia, perche’ il razzismo anti – immigranti e’ l’arma politica centrale della classe dirigente reazionaria. La nostra lotta e’ centrale alla creazione di un’ unita’ politica dell’intera classe lavoratrice in Italia in quanto forza che puo’ porre fine allo sfruttamento e al dominio capitalista. E’ centrale per mettere fine all’ondata reazionaria che e’ il risultato di successive politiche di governo e misure economiche: i crescenti abusi, violenze e delitti perpetrati contro donne, gli attacchi contro lesbiche/gay, l’intolleranza e la violenza contro le comunita’ Musulmane. E’ centrale a creare un futuro di speranza per i giovani d’Italia di tutte le razze.

E nel costruire questo movimento integrato, di massa e militante in Italia saremo una potente forza per creare un movimento a livello europeo con a capo immigrati e giovani contro il razzismo e la poverta’.